Coronavirus: 326 more cases reported with 152 in Dublin, 22 in Donegal
Other areas may move to Level 3 but ‘nothing inevitable about it’, says Dr Ronan Glynn
The new cases were detected from 7,410 tests, representing a 3.7 per cent positivity rate. Photograph: Lex van Lieshout/EPA
A further 326 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State while no additional deaths were reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on Friday.
Dublin has the highest number of cases at 152. Cork has 32, Donegal 22, Galway has 21. There were 15 cases in Meath, 11 in Kildare, nine in Kerry, eight each in Louth and Westmeath, six each in Tipperary, Limerick and Mayo and five in Wexford. The remaining 25 are spread across eight counties.
A total of 34,315 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Ireland since late February and the total number of deaths now stands at 1,797.
Men account for 162 of Friday’s cases while women account for 152. People under the age of 45 account for 69 per cent of the cases while 49 have been identified as examples of community transmission.
Validation of data by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has resulted in the denotification of six confirmed cases and this is reflected in the current total.
“Today I am asking people everywhere but particularly in Donegal and Dublin to pay special attention to the public health advice,” said acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.
“I ask every individual to take personal responsibility to prioritise who you need to see, limit the size of your social network and reduce your social contacts over the coming days and weeks.
“Because while there is every chance that other areas will have to move to Level 3, there is nothing inevitable about it. We have seen previously how people working together can turn the tide on this virus and bring increasing trajectories back under control.
“Know how valuable your individual actions are. Your choices and your actions are part of how we will succeed.”
Lifford-Stranorlar has the highest incidence of Covid-19 in the Republic at present, new figures show.
The Co Donegal area has a 14-day incidence of 336.1 cases per 100,000 people, almost five times the national incidence of 70.7, according to newly updated data on the Government’s Covid-19 data hub.
Celbridge in Co Kildare, with an incidence of 300.6 is the local electoral area with the second highest figures, suggesting it could be next in line for the imposition of restrictions currently applied to Dublin and Donegal.
However, the risks of imposing county-wide restrictions are illustrated by the fact that many other parts of Kildare have relatively low incidence figures. Newbridge, for example, recorded fewer than five cases in the past fortnight, so its incidence is too low to be officially recorded.
The problems emerging on the periphery of Dublin are also highlighted by the fact that Bray West, in Co Wicklow, has the third highest incidence, at 206.5. Here, again, more rural parts of the county have relatively low case numbers.
Within Dublin, the South West Inner City local electorate area has the highest incidence, at 191.3, followed by Ballyfermot Drimnagh at 160.6, Tallaght Central at 159.7 and Kimmage Rathmines at 157.5.
In Louth, Dundalk Carlingford remains a hot-spot with an incidence of 179.7.
Cities and universities
Also on Friday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin warned that Irish cities could have restrictions imposed on them. This came as the number of people in hospital due to Covid-19 rose above 100 and Co Donegal prepared to enter Level 3 of the Government’s five-level virus restrictions framework from midnight.
Mr Martin said NPHET would advise the Government “in terms of any restrictions that may have to come in for other areas”.
He said NPHET are particularly concerned about the urban centres of Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.
Meanwhile, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has announced that all third-level institutions in the country are to be moved to Level 3 of the framework for up to three weeks from midnight tonight. They are also expected to move all lectures and most tutorials online.
Facilities such as libraries and labs are to remain open and all social activities on campuses have been suspended.
This comes after Dr Glynn and his counterpart in the North, Dr Michael McBride made an appeal to people to not travel across the Border between Donegal and Derry unless absolutely necessary.
Earlier on Friday, the North recorded its highest daily total of new coronavirus cases on Friday, after 273 people tested positive for the virus.
In the last week 1,236 cases have been identified, the North’s Department of Health said. The total number of positive cases since the start of the pandemic now stands at 10,223.
The greatest area of concern is in Derry City and Strabane, which reported 242 new cases in the last seven days. Its infection rate now stands at 160.6 per 100,000 people.
No new coronavirus-related fatalities were reported by the Department on Friday, leaving the death toll at 577.
The new cases were detected from 7,410 tests, representing a 3.7 per cent positivity rate.
Testing has been significantly stepped up in the last two months.
In the last 10 days, testing has remained steady at around 20/1000 people per week, while cases have almost doubled.